Matthew Fox is an internationally acclaimed theologian and spiritual maverick who has spent the last forty years revolutionizing Christian theology, taking on patriarchal religion, and advocating for a creation-centered spirituality of compassion and justice and re-sacralizing of the earth. He has written more than thirty books, which have sold over 1.5 million copies in fifty-nine languages.
Originally a Catholic priest, Fox was silenced for a year and then expelled from the Dominican order, to which he had belonged for thirty-four years, by Cardinal Ratzinger for teaching liberation theology and creation spirituality. Fox currently serves as an Episcopal priest, after he received what he calls “religious asylum” from the Episcopal Church. With exciting results he has worked with young people to create the Cosmic Mass to revitalize worship by bringing elements of rave and other post-modern art forms to the western liturgical tradition.
Fox has worked extensively and consciously to reinvent forms of education for thirty-four years in master’s degree and doctor of ministry programs with adults, as well as with inner city high school students in his program called YELLAWE. Key to that reinvention, he believes, is putting Creativity first.
In 1976 Fox founded the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality (ICCS) at Mundelein College in Chicago, Illinois. The master’s program was designed to step out of the overly heady academic pedagogy that dominated in European-based models of education in order to educate all the chakras including the heart. The program included many artists as faculty along with scientists and teachers from many faith traditions. After seven years Fox moved it to Holy Names College in Oakland, California where it thrived for twelve years. The program was eventually terminated in the wake of Fox’s expulsion from the Dominican order.
Rather than disband his amazing and ecumenical faculty, Fox started his own University in 1996 called the University of Creation Spirituality, where he was president, professor, chief fundraiser and recruiter for nine years. Its Doctor of Ministry degree was unique in the world since it honored the inherently priestly work of all workers who are midwives of grace (Fox’s definition of the priesthood archetype) in their work. It drew amazing students from a variety of professions, all of whom felt called to deepen their spirituality and to reinvigorate their work as agents of social transformation.
Fox is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Peace Award from Morehouse College, the Humanities Award of the Sufi International Association of Sufism, the Tikkun Ethics Award, and the Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey of Sherborn, Massachusetts. Other recipients of this award include the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Ernesto Cardinal, and Rosa Parks. Fox is currently a visiting scholar at the Academy of the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lives in Oakland, California.